The Game: Doctor’s Advocate


The Game’s second release from Aftermath records, Doctor’s Advocate, is in many instances, the prototypical modern day rap album – that is it will frequently frustrate the listener as the artist manages to mix flashes of brilliant, slickly produced songs with muddled  thoughts of  uninspired nonsense. Any critical hip hop lover will admit that the days of classic albums like Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt, are long gone.  Other critics and fans can argue about this particular album’s historical fate but as this is The Game’s first album in which he produces and we’ll give the guy credit – the album is incredibly produced. Some of the beats on this album are some of the hardest beats produced in some time. And yet, the weight of Dr. Dre’s influence on The Game is overwhelming. All of the songs have an eerie similarity to some of Dre’s later production work; we’re talking about loops of strong, booming bass drum, heavy use of synthesizers that twinkle, fall, fade and exert itself on the music and the limited use of samples.

Highlights include “Da S****,” “It’s Okay/One Blood” and “Remedy” which are perhaps three of the strongest rap songs you’ll hear this year. On these tracks, the Game sounds inspired– but he also displays a remarkably deft flow in which his braggadocio is refined and downright mean-spirited (on one song he rhymes masturbating with a reference to the football great Walter Payton, all before turning it into a childishly funny reference to oral sex). “Remedy” includes a twinkling and insistently repetitive set of piano chords reminiscent of Kool G. Rap’s “Ill Street Blues” or Scarface’s “On My Block.” “It’s Okay/One Blood” which has already received rabid radio play in many of the major markets is mixed to a smoothly looped reggae sample and is downright infectious and difficult to forget.

With 16 songs clocking in well over an hour – including the final track which is over nine minutes long – it becomes fairly obvious that there’s a lack of economizing thought. Along the way, the constant name dropping of rappers The Game idolized gets a bit tiring. Those moments throughout seemed contrived, if not plain silly, but the beats are damn good enough to keep one coming back for more Game. 

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